- Title: First wave of peshmerga enter Bashiqa near Mosul
- Date: 7th November 2016
- Summary: BASHIQA, IRAQ (NOVEMBER 7, 2016) (REUTERS) OUTSKIRTS OF TOWN, SMOKE RISING IN DISTANCE BLACK SMOKE RISING FROM BUILDING VEHICLES DRIVING ALONG LARGE EXPLOSION, WHITE SMOKE RISING BLACK SMOKE RISING SOLDIERS WALKING TANKS DRIVING PAST SOLDIERS WALKING PAST WRECKAGE OF BUILDING TANKS DRIVING PAST DESTROYED BUILDING SOLDIERS ON ROOFTOP SMOKE RISING, SOLDIERS WALKING BLACK SMOKE RISING FROM BUILDING, VEHICLE DRIVING CLOSE BY
- Embargoed: 22nd November 2016 11:09
- Keywords: Mosul Bashiqa peshmerga Islamic State army battle
- Location: BASHIQA, IRAQ
- City: BASHIQA, IRAQ
- Country: Iraq
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Military Conflicts
- Reuters ID: LVA00157G3OSN
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga forces attacked an Islamic State-held town northeast of Mosul on Monday (November 7), trying to clear a pocket of militants outside the city while Iraqi troops wage a fierce urban war with the jihadists in its eastern neighbourhoods.
As the campaign against Islamic State's Iraqi stronghold entered its fourth week, the first waves of a 2,000-strong peshmerga force entered the town of Bashiqa, on foot and in armoured vehicles or Humvees.
Artillery earlier pounded the town, which lies on the Nineveh plains at the foot of a mountain.
Lieutenant-Colonel Safeen Rasoul told Reuters that they estimated 100 militants and 10 suicide cars were still left in the town some 15 km. (10 miles) from Mosul.
Islamic State fighters have sought to slow the offensive on their Mosul stronghold with waves of suicide car bomb attacks. Iraqi commanders say there have been 100 on the eastern front and 140 in the south.
As a peshmerga column moved into Bashiqa, a loud explosion rocked the convoy, and two large plumes of white smoke could be seen just 50 feet (15 metres) away. A peshmerga officer said two suicide car bombs had tried to hit the advancing force.
Mosul, the largest Islamic State-controlled city in either Iraq or Syria, has been held by the group since its fighters drove the army out of northern Iraq in June 2014.
The Mosul campaign, the most complex military operation in Iraq in a decade, brings together a force of around 100,000 soldiers, security forces, Shi'ite militias and peshmerga, backed by a U.S.-led coalition, to crush the Sunni jihadists.
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